The very idea of sports decor in anything but a college dorm room can seem somewhat tacky. That’s because when we hear “sports decor” we tend to think of taped-up posters, autographed memorabilia, gaudy pennants, and things of this nature.
There’s certainly a place for things like these as collectors’ items, but really they’re not particularly sophisticated as modern decorations.
Leaving things there, however, doesn’t exactly solve the problem for a sports fan who would like to demonstrate his or her tastes and interests in a given room in the house – be it a den, a study, or anywhere else where a bit of personal touch can be appropriate.
It’s a shame to assume that the only two options are to decorate tackily or to forego sports involvement altogether – so, to bridge the gap, we thought we’d write up some tips about how to approach sports decor in a more sophisticated manner.
Turn Photos into Art
Sports-related photos can be very special to you. Maybe you have one that somebody took of you and your family with a field or court behind you; maybe you were lucky enough to snap a selfie with a favorite athlete; or maybe you just captured the perfect panorama of a given stadium.
In most cases though, as much sentimental value as these photos can have, they don’t make for the best decorations. However, they can certainly be made better for this purpose with a bit of creative augmentation! These days there are apps that can turn photos into paintings, and you can at least start with these in the effort to turn your beloved images into something more artistic. A stylized, painting-like version of a stadium photo can actually be quite lovely, for instance.
Display Team-Related Glassware
You can certainly go too far with this, and it’s important to realize what we’re talking about specifically. You don’t want a shelf full of team-sponsored shot glasses, or a glass beer stein with a big, protruding metal logo representing a favorite team. Items like these are best left in cabinets under a bar, brought out on occasion for actual use (rather than decoration).
However, a lot of sports teams, from colleges to the professional level, do sell classier glassware, which can be displayed in an attractive manner and still provide a subtle touch from a favorite team or league.
Create a DIY Sports Leaderboard
This is more outside-the-box, but it’s an interesting idea for decor that can be a conversation starter without being tacky. The idea is – inspired by one Reddit user who created their very own DIY leaderboard – is to have some metal wall art or wood slats that can be etched or printed with team names, and rearranged according to league standings. The U.S. has new gambling sites that you can refer to before a season even starts, so that you know how to arrange things at first.
You can then set up attractive, understated slates according to betting odds and move them around as needed throughout a season. This idea certainly could be tacky, but with the right design it doesn’t have to be.
Display the Occasional Vintage Item
A similar piece discussing how to apply sports decorations without being tacky pointed out that going vintage can be a nice workaround of sorts. This, too, can get tacky if you take it too far, but usually an old-school pennant or other piece of memorabilia on display can blend in more effectively than something newer. Imagine, for instance, a mantle in a den with a few photographs on it, along with a few trinkets, and a baseball bat on a low stand. If the bat is shiny and new, marked up and down with crisp signatures from favorite players, it’s going to stand out in a loud, negative way; if it’s older, faded, and perhaps has one old signature at a certain spot, it will look more like it’s simply always been there.
Fight the Urge to Overdo It
Even if you go with these tips, sports decor means walking a thin line. Your whole household and everyone you might entertain may happen to love sports, and things can still start to look tacky very quickly. However, these ideas can certainly help you to work things out in a more effective and attractive way.